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31 March 2013 @ 08:50 pm
Never Judge a Horse by its Color pt 1/?  
Title: Never Judge a Horse by its Color 1/?
Rating: R
Characters: pre-slash (as of right now) Steve/Danny
Summary: This is an Hawaii Five-0 Old West AU, with horses and everything! In which Danny is a Detective and Steve is a fugitive from justice. (But not necessarily an outlaw, if you know what I mean.)
Words: this part ~3400
Warnings/Notes: I was going to participate in the Perverse Big Bang but I can only make it to mildly naughty. So I officially dropped out of that challenge and decided to begin posting the story now. You'll see how not perverse it is!

Also, feedback and comments are love!
~o0o0o0o~


And so it was finally over. After pursing his suspect for seven long months, Detective Daniel Williams of the Pinkerton Detective Agency had apprehended his man.

Commander Steve McGarrett, formerly of the US Navy, had been Pinkerton’s number one target for two years, since the day he had robbed the train from St Louis to Fort Journey. He was supposed to be guarding the payroll but instead had killed the other guard and made off with the gold.

Pinkerton Detective Agency always gets their man. Williams had made sure that their motto remained true by tracking McGarrett across the Nevada territory. In the end, it had been hilariously simple to grab him, with his pants down around his ankles. McGarrett was known to frequent the saloon in Green Tree and some well placed bribes ensured that when he arrived this time, Williams would be alerted.

The Detective had caught him, pants down and dick out, about to have his way with one of the saloon girls. After ensuring she was unharmed, Williams ordered McGarrett to button up, clapped him in irons, and escorted him to the sheriff’s office.

The sheriff agreed to house McGarrett providing it was, as Williams promised, only overnight.

“I need to contact the home office back east. Make arrangements to transport him to our Kingsely office. Secure supplies,” Williams explained.

“Fine, fine,” the sheriff said. “You’re guarding him overnight. I’m not risking any of my deputies.”

“I’ll be back right away,” Williams assured him. He glanced over at the cell where McGarrett was watching them with the secretive smile he had worn since Williams captured him. “What? What is with that look, McGarrett? You won’t look nearly so smug when you’re facing the hangman’s noose.”

“Can’t hang an innocent man,” McGarrett drawled at him.

“Since that doesn’t in any way apply to you, you still have no reason to be smiling,” Williams retorted.

“Hmm…” McGarrett said before stretching out his six foot frame on the lumpy mattress, his wrists still in shackles.

“I won’t be longer than an hour,” Williams told the sheriff.

“Fine. Then you’ll take him first thing in the morning.”

“As soon as dawn breaks,” Williams agreed.

The sheriff nodded, glancing warily over at the cell. But as McGarrett was simply staring up at the ceiling, the sheriff felt less concerned. “One hour.”

“Yes,” Williams agreed, leaving to buy the supplies they would need for the trip to Kingsley. That was the closest town where the train passed through, four days of hard riding from Green Tree. And there was no question that the riding would be hard. Williams had no desire to spend any more time with McGarrett than absolutely necessary.

Supplies purchased, telegraph dispatched, plans made, Williams returned to the sheriff’s office to take watch overnight.

He sat at the sheriff’s desk with one of his dime novels, chair tilted back against the wooden wall, his booted feet up on the desk. Pursuing McGarrett had occupied his waking hours but there was time between full sundown and sunup. Too much time. That was when he allowed himself to get lost in the paperbacks filled with seafaring pirates.

“What’s that you’re reading?” McGarrett asked him from the cell.

“None of your business,” Williams said.

“Don’t be like that. We’re stuck with each other for the foreseeable future. You can at least tell me what you’re reading,” McGarrett said, an undertone of humor in his voice.

“You seem unaware of the seriousness of your position,” Williams responded, not lifting his head.

“You’re serious enough for the both of us,” McGarrett replied. “You need to learn to relax. Who wears a tie in the Nevada Territory?”

“Someone who wishes to look professional,” Williams informed him, smoothing down the blue silk vest he was wearing over the white shirt and darker blue tie. “Something you would know nothing about.”

“Hmm…” McGarrett responded. “Aren’t criminals supposed to be fed?”

“You should have asked the sheriff. I’m just borrowing his cell.”

“Yeah,” McGarrett agreed.

“Why’d you do it?” Williams asked after the silence had stretched between them. He waited, not sure he’d get an answer from the man in the cell.

“I didn’t,” McGarrett finally said.

“You killed your fellow sailor. Stole the payroll. Three witnesses have sworn to it,” Williams told him.

“I didn’t kill him,” McGarrett said. “I didn’t steal the gold. I’ve been looking for the man that did it for the past two years.”

“You are the man that did it,” Williams said.

“You are welcome to believe what you will,” McGarrett replied. “Doesn’t make your version true.”

“Did you know him well? The man you gunned down in cold blood?”

“We were together in the first graduating class at the Naval Academy. We were close friends, very close. Which is more reason I would have never killed him,” McGarrett responded.

“What reason would the witnesses have to lie about it?” Williams asked, leaving the chair to go over to the cell and look down at McGarrett who was still laying on the cot, staring up at the ceiling.

“My working theory is that they are accomplices,” McGarrett said. “The man that killed O’Malley heads up a gang of thieves. Did the reports include descriptions of the witnesses?” He had turned his head and was watching Williams with intense eyes, eyes with a color that defied description. Those changeable eyes were surrounded by lashes thick and long as cypress branches, not that Danny cared. It was only because he was a detective and a damn fine one that he saw details with such clarity.

“Vaguely,” Williams said. “I never spoke directly with them.”

“Were they by any chance described as oriental?” McGarrett asked.

“One of them was,” Williams acknowledged. “Why? What does that mean to you?”

“Have you ever heard of Wo Fat?” McGarrett asked.

Williams shook his head. Even if he had, he wasn’t certain he would readily admit it to the prisoner.

“Hmm…” McGarrett said, returning to his contemplation of the ceiling. “You have an extra paperback by any chance?”

Williams didn’t respond but went to his saddlebag, pulling out a second novel. He handed it through the bars, McGarrett accepting it with a nod of thanks.

Williams returned to his chair and to his book, alert to any sounds from the cell but McGarrett remained silent except for the occasional ruffle of turning pages. Although it hadn’t been his intention to sleep at all, Williams startled himself awake, quickly checking to make sure McGarrett was still secure in his cell. He was asleep, the shadow of his beard darker than the shadows cast by the eyelashes resting on his remarkable cheekbones.

Danny nodded to himself and drifted back to sleep, knowing he would wake at the first signs of light in the sky.

~0~

“Time to be up,” Williams announced the next morning. He watched McGarrett slowly open his sleepy eyes that finally focused on him. McGarrett smiled at him, Williams trying to convince himself that his smile was not at all fetching. “We need to get going.”

McGarrett stood, stretching his shackled hands high over his head, bending his back, his white cotton shirt riding up to reveal just a peek of warm browned belly.

“Coffee,” Williams said, handing him a cup through the bars. He was wearing the same clothes as he had on the night before, a brown bowler settled over the blonder portion of his hair. “We’ll have hard tack on the trail.”

McGarrett accepted the coffee with a nod of thanks, sipping the hot, fresh liquid gratefully. “I need to empty out the reservoir.”

Williams opened the cell door, his gun cocked and ready. He used it to motion McGarrett out of the cell and through the back door of the jail. He waited right by the outhouse as McGarrett entered, very soon leaving with a nod. Danny escorted him back inside, the sheriff there ready to begin his day.

“These are his effects,” the sheriff said, putting a Navy issued saddlebag and a dark brown cowboy hat on his desk.

“Guard him,” Williams said, putting his gun into his holster. He opened the saddlebag, checking its contents. He found the usual - a razor, a couple of clean shirts, a few dollars but not many, some dried berries. That was about it except for a tattered tintype of a smiling young woman. “Your wife?” When he glanced up to see McGarrett, he was watching Williams with a raised eyebrow and an amused expression.

“My sister,” McGarrett said.

Williams nodded, carefully returning the picture to the saddlebags, adding the dime novel he’d loaned McGarrett, before closing and buckling the flap securely. “We’re ready to leave,” Williams told the sheriff to his nods.

“The sooner the better,” the sheriff agreed, staring belligerently at McGarrett.

Danny nodded, clapping McGarrett’s hat on his head before giving him a quick shove to get him started. Danny kept his gun trained on the taller man as he marched him to the stable. Williams paid the hand for tending the two horses overnight, securing his saddlebag onto his horse before also securing McGarrett’s. Williams also tied the supplies he’d procured behind his saddle.

He led McGarrett over to the second horse, telling him to mount up. McGarrett did it with a fluidity that Williams refused to notice. And he certainly did not admire the long legs or the powerful arms.

He locked a length of chain around McGarrett's right ankle, throwing it beneath his horse before rounding it to lock the loose end to his left ankle. He also unshackled McGarrett’s right hand, threaded the chain through the saddle’s fork then locked it back around his wrist.

“Sure hope this horse doesn’t spook,” McGarrett said when he tried the chains. Of course they were sturdy enough to keep him on the horse. He hadn’t doubted it.

“Should have thought of that before you stole the gold,” Williams said, mounting his horse with less difficulty than McGarrett would have expected. The horse was a little shorter than the one McGarrett was sitting on but not by much. Williams strength made up for what he lacked in height. Once settled, Williams spurred his horse forward. The reins of McGarrett’s horse were tied to the back of Williams’ saddle.

“Didn’t steal it,” McGarrett said, watching the town slide by as they rode toward the edge. There weren’t very many people out so early in the morning, their travel unimpeded.

“Shut up,” Williams said, not bothering to look back at his prisoner.

“That’s no way to be. You did ask,” McGarrett responded, the hint of laughter back in his tone. “You have to talk to me eventually.”

“Not if I can help it,” Williams said, still looking straight ahead.

“What is your first name?”

“None of your business,” Williams retorted, urging his horse to pick up speed. McGarrett’s horse kept pace, Steve adjusting to the rate without much trouble. It was strange not to be holding his own reins but he didn’t really mind.

“You do need me alive, right?” McGarrett asked after several miles had disappeared behind them.

“Shut up,” was the only response he received. He laughed at the words, watching Williams’ compact, muscular body as he rode in front.

After they had been riding for what Steve guessed from the position of the sun was just over an hour, Williams slowed. The flat plains around the town of Green Tree had given way to sparse woods, the shade welcome. It wasn’t overly hot in the sun but the branches of the trees overhead offered cooling shelter.

Williams pulled up to a stop, dismounting and tying his horse to a sturdy tree. Once they were stationary, McGarrett could hear the faint rushing of water not far off. He watched as Williams unlocked his right foot then his right hand. McGarrett dismounted and waited as Williams reattached the chain around his ankle and his wrist.

“I’m not going anywhere,” McGarrett told him as Williams pulled on the chains between his wrists to get him moving.

He led his prisoner further into the cool shade, pointing at a fallen log. McGarrett obediently sat, looking up at Williams. “I’ve spent seven months hunting down your ass. Now that I’ve found it, I’m not taking any chances,” Williams informed him sternly.

“Now that you’ve found my ass, do you approve of it?” McGarrett asked, his eyes laughing up at Williams.

“Shut up,” Williams responded, going to his horse for one of the bags of food. He extracted some jerky, handing it to McGarrett. “I’m going to get some fresh water. If you aren’t right here when I get back, I will find you and shoot you in the face. And I’ll make sure you don’t die.”

McGarrett just laughed, chewing the jerky. Williams shook his head in dismay, going to the stream to fill the canteens. When he returned, McGarrett hadn’t moved at all, still chewing the jerky, his eyes still filled with laughter.

“Why is this so funny to you, huh? You’re a wanted criminal. You’re facing a hangman’s noose. And you just laugh,” Williams said, sitting on a separate log, close enough to see him but far enough that McGarrett couldn’t attack him.

“I didn’t do it. I know you don’t believe me,” McGarrett said with a shrug. He drank from the canteen Williams had provided him before returning it to sit upright on the ground. “But I did not kill O’Malley. I did not steal the gold.”

“Why have you been on the run since it happened?” Williams demanded. “If you’re innocent, which I don’t believe for one minute, why not turn yourself in?”

“I was hunting for Wo Fat. He’s evaded the law for too long,” McGarrett said.

“How it is I’ve never heard of this supposed mastermind Wo Fat?” Williams asked.

“How much time have you spent in the Nevada territory?” McGarrett countered. “You’re from Jersey, right?”

“Maybe,” Danny said. “He must be of interest to the Pinkerton Agency.”

“The train I was on was the first time he’d crossed your agency,” McGarrett said. “He didn’t know it was Navy gold until he saw me and O’Malley.”

“Why kill O’Malley but leave you unharmed?”

“Who said I was unharmed?” Steve asked. “I have the scars to prove he tried killing us both.”

“This is not in any of the reports I’ve read,” Williams said.

“Your reports are flawed,” Steve replied with a shrug. “He thought he’d killed us both. His aim wasn’t as true when he fired at me.”

“This is quite a fancy tale you’ve concocted,” Williams told him.

“You go on believing that,” McGarrett said. “But you’ll have a different opinion when Wo Fat comes after you.”

“Why would he come after me? I’ve never heard of him,” Williams pointed out.

“He’ll come after you because you have me. He wants me dead,” McGarrett said matter of factly.

“Then I’ll have to be especially vigilant, won’t I?” Williams said, the mockery in his tone loud and clear.

“I hope so for both our sakes,” McGarrett said, drinking more water.

After they had both eaten, had plenty of water, and answered nature’s call, they remounted, Danny re-chained McGarrett and they returned to the trail.

The sun was slowly making its way down to the horizon when Danny next stopped the horses. He knew of a good place to make camp, not far from the river they’d have to cross the next morning. One of its tributaries ran by the campout, providing plenty of fresh water.

He looped the chain around a tree before reattaching it to McGarrett’s ankle, Steve again watching with his secretive smile. “These precautions aren’t necessary,” Steve tried. Danny turned to face him, a familiar, stern expression on his features. “I know,” Steve laughed. “Shut up.”

“Got it in one,” Danny said, going to his horse for supplies. He quickly and efficiently made their supper including a pot of coffee to brew over the fire. “What was your assignment before you were on guard duty?” Danny asked as he stirred the small pot suspended over the fire.

“Patrolling the western shore,” Steve said, his hands curled around the mug of coffee Danny had given him. “We chased pirates. Your book must have been written by someone in the Navy. They got almost all of it right.”

“Really?” Danny asked, looking over at him to see if he was mocking him. Steve looked completely sincere in his statement.

“Yeah,” Steve said. “I expected it to be all made up adventures but it’s not.”

“I read one once about a Captain named Steven McGuire. Was that based on you? He was described as tall with dark hair and changeable eyes,” Danny asked, studying him in an entirely new light.

“What was the name of the person who wrote it?”

“Newton W. W. Curtis according to the cover. I don’t know if those are their real names or not,” Danny said.

“I knew a Curtis Newton,” Steve said. “He wasn’t in the Navy but he lived in Annapolis.”

“Do you have tattoos?”

“Yes,” Steve said.

“Then it could have been you,” Danny said, spooning out their supper into two bowls. One he handed to Steve along with half a loaf of crusty bread. Steve accepted with his chained hands and a nod of thanks.

“I guess,” Steve said. “If he wrote dime novels, he never mentioned it.”

“Huh,” Danny said, eating his stew. “My name’s Danny.”

“Nice to meet you, Danny,” Steve said with a laugh, his eyes crinkling at the corners.

“You won’t think it’s so nice when I turn you over the Federal authorities.”

Steve shrugged at that, eating more of his stew. It wasn’t the best he’d ever had but it was hot, filling, and plentiful. That’s all that really mattered.

“Can I ask you a personal question?” Danny asked after they had remained wrapped in their own thoughts.

“I suppose,” Steve said, the same underlying humor still in his tone.

“Do you normally have a moustache?”

“A moustache?” Steve repeated with a small frown. “No. I prefer to remain clean-shaven. Not that I am right now but as a rule.”

“Why do you have moustache wax in your saddlebag?” Danny asked, staring down at his bowl. He was drawn to look over at Steve when he laughed. “What? What’s so funny?”

“You know why I have it, don’t you?” Steve responded.

“No,” Danny said firmly, adding a shake of his head to reinforce his words.

“Then why is your face turning red? Answer me that, Danno,” Steve said.

“Shut up,” Danny said, drinking from his canteen. He slanted his gaze toward Steve, hoping he wouldn’t really notice. Danny’s response earned him another laugh and he was forced to smile at the sound. “Really. Just shut up.”

“Okay, Danno. Whatever you say.”

“And what’s with the ridiculous nickname? My name is Danny. Or Daniel.”

“But you didn’t want to tell me so I’ll provide you a different name. Seems only fair,” Steve said.

“You are an incredibly irritating man,” Danny informed him.

“I know. You aren’t the first to tell me,” Steve assured him. “I’ll try to be less irritating if you’ll try to be less unpleasant.”

“I am a very pleasant person. I have an entire list of people who would tell you how pleasant I am. I was invited to parties purely so I could socialize and impress the other guests with my pleasantness.”

“Good for you,” Steve said, still laughing at him. “You ever been married?”

“No. You?”

“Nope,” Steve said. “Not a lot of time to find a wife in the Navy.”

“I guess not,” Danny agreed. “You done eating?”

“Is there any more?” Steve replied.

Danny nodded, taking Steve’s bowl and refilling it. He also gave Steve the last of his bread, three or four bites he no longer had room to eat.

Once the stew was all eaten, Danny banked down the fire, keeping it going but not so huge as to be a danger. He got two bedrolls from behind Steve’s saddle, giving one to Steve before settling in the second himself.

“Try not to snore too loud,” Steve laughed as he tilted his hat over his eyes.

“I do not snore,” Danny protested.

“I beg to differ,” Steve said making Danny snort at him. “Good night, Danno.”

“’Night,” Danny replied, closing his eyes and falling asleep almost immediately.

 
 
Current Location: home
Current Mood: frustratedfrustrated
Current Music: dogs snoring
 
 
 
gyrigyri on April 1st, 2013 01:27 am (UTC)
Awesome!!! Can't wait to read it but it might be awhile before I do.
kahuna_burger: dannokahuna_burger on April 1st, 2013 01:55 am (UTC)
Yeah, fic!
kaige68kaige68 on April 1st, 2013 02:36 am (UTC)
I want more! And now dammit!!!!! Awesome work hon!
amarylissaamaryllisssa on April 1st, 2013 09:37 am (UTC)
Excellent start. I'm looking forward to the rest.